Read the following from Aquinas’ Summa theologiae and then challenge yourself to
i) rebut each objection and
ii) articulate your own explanation of the truth,
before reading how St. Thomas does so.
ST I-II, q. 71, a. 2. — Whether vice is contrary to nature?
Objection 1. It would seem that vice is not contrary to nature. Because vice is contrary to virtue, as stated above (Article 1). Now virtue is in us, not by nature but by infusion or habituation, as stated above (63, A1,2,3). Therefore vice is not contrary to nature.
Objection 2. Further, it is impossible to become habituated to that which is contrary to nature: thus “a stone never becomes habituated to upward movement” (Ethic. ii, 1). But some men become habituated to vice. Therefore vice is not contrary to nature.
Objection 3. Further, anything contrary to a nature, is not found in the greater number of individuals possessed of that nature. Now vice is found in the greater number of men; for it is written (Matthew 7:13): “Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat.” Therefore vice is not contrary to nature.
Objection 4. Further, sin is compared to vice, as act to habit, as stated above (Article 1). Now sin is defined as “a word, deed, or desire, contrary to the Law of God,” as Augustine shows (Contra Faust. xxii, 27). But the Law of God is above nature. Therefore we should say that vice is contrary to the Law, rather than to nature.
If you already know what Aquinas says, don’t spoil the fun for others.
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